Reputation Matters

Do any of the following sound familiar? Job ads not pulling in candidates, candidates not responding to your calls and/or emails, candidates not showing up to interviews, and job offers being turned down? Especially in a tight job market, candidates want what is best for them just as you want to hire people who are best for you. Just as you do your due diligence to check out a candidate, they too are doing the same.

Sites like Fairygodboss, Indeed, Glassdoor, Yelp (yes, Yelp), and many others offer opportunities for employees, both current and past, to talk about your company’s management, opportunities, work-life balance, compensation, and many employee-centric topics. Your reputation is, thus, public information and can impact your ability to both retain and, especially, attract quality employees.

If you have a poor reputation online, it isn’t too late to course correct. This is an area we specialize in. However, even without professional HR assistance, there are things you can do to improve your reputation and use that to attract and bring on the talent you need to excel.

The list below isn’t a roadmap per se, nor steps presented in order. Rather, they are all the things you can do to start improving work conditions so that your reputation can adjust for the better. Pick on the easy items first, be consistent, and expand from there. Bring in the pros if you can. The cost is worth it. After all, how many more no-shows and rejections can you take while losing $$$ all for what are essentially relatively easy fixes!

  • Cultivate a Positive Company Culture: Having an open door isn’t enough. You have to actively foster a work environment that promotes respect, collaboration, and open communication. Encourage employee engagement and provide opportunities for professional growth and development. As a leader, you get more from listening than from talking. It is ok to trust your people. The better communication flows up from the bottom, the better you can guide your company and the more engaged your employees become.
  • Prioritize Work-Life Balance: Strive to create a healthy work-life balance for employees. Encourage flexible work hours or remote work options when feasible, especially within the context that 90% of candidates want at least a hybrid work environment rather than working onsite. Show concern for employees’ well-being and avoid overloading them with excessive work demands. Particularly as a result of the pandemic, this has become one of the most important considerations for candidates and employees. The more flexible you are, the more employees will stay, and others will want to join.
  • Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits: Ensure that your company offers competitive salaries and benefits packages. Conduct regular market research to stay informed about industry standards and make necessary adjustments to remain attractive to potential hires. Being competitive isn’t just about your product and service offerings, it is about your people. If your competition has better people than you do, your current advantages will be short-lived.
  • Provide Learning and Development Opportunities: Support continuous learning and skill development for employees. Offer training programs, workshops, and resources to help them grow professionally and stay updated in their fields. Yes, you will have employees leave for better opportunities because of the skills you are teaching them, but you can’t have a growing and transformative organization with employees stuck doing things as they have always done.
  • Recognize and Reward Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate employees’ accomplishments and contributions. Implement recognition programs or awards to showcase their hard work and dedication. Many are low-cost and regardless of the cost, it is just fun to have goals and to celebrate wins.
  • Focus on Diversity and Inclusion: Create an inclusive workplace that values diversity and promotes equal opportunities for everyone. Encourage diversity in recruitment and ensure that all employees feel respected and valued. Studies show that diverse workforces are twice as likely to achieve or surpass their financial goals (Forbes Article).
  • Improve Communication Channels: Enhance internal communication to keep employees informed about company updates, goals, and initiatives. Encourage two-way communication, where employees can provide feedback and suggestions. More channels don’t necessarily result in better communication, but experiment with your staff as to what mix of communication channels works best for them.
  • Address Workplace Concerns Promptly: Respond promptly and appropriately to any employee concerns or grievances. Demonstrate that you take their feedback seriously and work to resolve issues effectively. Take a lesson from Ted Lasso by working to resolve issues without fanfare. The act means more when you don’t then pat yourself on the back. In a world wherein self-promotion has become the norm, be the exception.
  • Support Employee Well-Being: Offer wellness programs or resources to support employees’ physical and mental health. This can include gym memberships, counseling services, or stress management workshops. The better supported your employees are, the more effective they become.
  • Engage in Corporate Social Responsibility: Get involved in community initiatives or charitable causes. Demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility can positively impact your company’s image and attract socially conscious job seekers. It also provides a mission, a feeling of well-being, and pride of association which positively impacts engagement and loyalty.
  • Utilize Online Employer Review Platforms: This is often dismissed by leadership, but this matters more than sometimes understood. Monitor and respond to reviews on employer review websites. Address both positive and negative feedback to demonstrate your company’s responsiveness and commitment to improvement. If you are taking a lot of positive steps to support and engage with your employees, encourage them to review the company. The results will be in your favor and will dramatically improve your company’s reputation online, resulting in you attracting better candidates, better hires, and resulting in you having a better business.
  • Showcase Employee Testimonials: This is where you should fully embrace self-promotion. Encourage satisfied employees to share their positive experiences through testimonials or videos. This can be shared on your company’s website and social media to give potential candidates a glimpse of the positive work environment.

By implementing these strategies consistently, you can enhance your company’s employment reputation and become a sought-after employer in your industry. Remember, a strong employment reputation is an ongoing effort and requires continuous improvement and dedication from the leadership team and all employees.